James Roberts and Mark Davey completed the 7 Clubs Challenge on Saturday 18th October, World Squash Day, playing 7 consecutive matches at 7 of the Central League clubs in just 7 hours. They started out at Burton Manor Sports Association at 9am and finished at King Edward VI Leisure Centre in Lichfield at 3.45pm, nicely within the 7 hour window. They were both very tired by the end, but forgot all about that, being exhilarated at successfully completing the challenge they had set themselves.
Although squash wise, it was an easy whitewash win for Mark (and James always knew in his heart of hearts this would be the case!), the winners at the end of the day were twofold: firstly squash, as this challenge has undoubtedly been a great vehicle for promoting the game on World Squash Day; and secondly the chosen charity, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), for whom a tidy sum has been raised. A target of £1,000 was set, and as things stand, we think we are around 75% there. Hopefully further donations will follow to push us towards, and perhaps beyond, that target. The PHA works to support the lives of those blighted by this terrible and debilitating condition (and James’ family knows all about that).
We would like to thank quite a few people who have supported this challenge. Firstly, all the clubs in the Central Squash league who provided us with the venues for the Challenge. Next to those organisations who supported the Challenge through the provision of their clothing and equipment: 305 Squash for their brilliant bespoke shirts, which not only looked great, they were perfect to wear for an endurance event of this nature, allowing the body to breathe and not becoming too heavy with sweat! In addition, our rackets were supplied by Blade Squash UK, run by Alex Williams, which we both thoroughly enjoyed playing with.
Thanks as well to the original 7 Continent Challenge purveyors, Tim Garner and Peter Nicol, for providing us with the inspiration for this challenge and for showing keen interest through social media and the amazing surprise of supplying 2 of their official shirts. These will be auctioned off to benefit from the charity – watch this space.
Thanks to also to Dominic Roberts, who runs his own digital content and photography business Rubber Duck Media, who followed us around all day taking the pics – the best of these can be viewed on our Gallery page. Thanks also to the teams at World Squash Day (especially Alan Thatcher), England Squash and Racketball and many of our local media outlets for the fantastic coverage on websites and social media. We had loads of retweets from the squash community too, including general squash enthusiasts, fellow squash clubs and quite a few of the world’s best pro players.
Finally, a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all those who have donated hard earned cash to this cause, either online or offline. I know the charity will be very grateful for the support. Indeed, it is not too late to donate either – just visit our Justgiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/7ClubsChallenge/. Please help us to reach our fundraising target – thank you!